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Daytona 500 Qualifying notebook: What the drivers had to say

Credits; Getty Images.

The Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying happened last night and delivered some great action and drama ahead of the Duels. ASN Motorsports had a chance to talk to the drivers about their performances, and you’ll be able to read everything they’ve got to say here.

Starting with pole winner Alex Bowman, the driver made history by qualifying on the front row for the fourth consecutive year at the Daytona 500.

“It’s pretty incredible, right?” he says. “I’m so appreciative and blessed with this opportunity. I think for me, it’s really hard to fit here and be like, yeah, I did it, and I did this and that, and that’s why we’re on the pole for four consecutive years or on the front row for four consecutive years.

“Just appreciative that my race car is really fast.”

Alex Bowman

William Byron follows Bowman and places second in qualifying, completing the front row. “[The goal] is to stay up there and contend and lead a bunch of laps and control the lanes. That’s our goal first and foremost.

“But you’ve got to get to the end as well. And if you get yourself in tough positions, you just have to realize that it’s better to try to rally back at the end of the race and not tear something up,” he said.

Bubba Wallace, the driver of the number 23 Toyota had a strong run and finished qualifying in fourth place. “It’s good to be back in the Toyota Family,” he said.

“Everything is clicking and feels good and smooth. At the end of the day, it’s a racecar, but the way that we spend time looking at everything things stand out a bit different, so it’s good. I’m pumped and all the resources are there. Everything is in place, no more excuses.”

Daniel Suarez, the Mexican for new team TrackHouse racing -which is partially owned by Pit Bull- qualified in 10th place, a good start for him and his new badge. Asked about qualifying at night, he said “everything is exactly the same” when driving the racecar.

“You are just focused to hit your marks and trying to do everything perfectly. I love racing at night, I love qualifying at night as well,” he concluded.

Kyle Larson is back on NASCAR with Hendrick Motorsports and qualified 15th. He previously told the media he had “a lot of faith” that he and his team would qualify in the front row, but that did not happen.

“It’s good to get out on track and get into motions of practice and buckle up into a stock car. Thankfully, it’s Daytona and it’s a little easier to just get there in single-car stuff and not be too stressed out. It’s good to be back out there and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week,” he stated.

Some drivers commented on the lack of practice, as Joey Gase for example. He qualified 41st and said more practice “definitely does [make an impact] for smaller teams.

“It would’ve been nice to have some more practice for sure, but the good news is that we have the duels and get more practice sessions on Saturday,” he said.

Austin Cindric made his first Cup Series qualifying and finished 19th. He said his competitive side isn’t “overly satisfied” with the day, but that it means a “great deal to be trying to race to get into the Daytona 500.

“For me to have a shot to get in is pretty cool,” he finished.

And that’s our notebook for qualifying! We hope you enjoyed it and that it keeps you up to date with your favourite drivers. See you for the duels!

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